Welcome back ‘Yak fans.
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]oo-Hoo I made it to 2014 who would have thunk it!? I misspent so much of my youth I was in debt before I hit 21 but here we are. I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas and I guess we’ll see what the New Year brings! World peace is probably asking a bit much so I’ll settle for great fishing. Oh, and if I get my wish, I’ll be sure to share!
While on the subject, the Hernando snook reports are the best in years up and down the coastline. ‘Siders,’ a nickname for snook based on the lateral black line on its side, are showing up in all sizes. Let’s hope it’s a mild winter I’d love to see them hang around. The changing of the tides—It all began on a winter day way back in 2013, you know, last week. On a trip to one of my favorite spots, I hit the water around 6 am to be in position for an early -7 tide. So here I am in the perfect position at day break with a mile of grass flats exposed in front of me and there wasn’t a fish to be seen. On a normal occasion, I would be expecting tailing reds, black drum, and sheepies everywhere. On a tide like this, at time of year, where could these fish be? So here I am, dead calm water, I could see for a mile, and what I see is nothing. No tails, no movement. Like Charlie Brown used to say, “good grief.” is horrible fate continued through the outgoing and into the turn of the tide and at this point I’m definitely a bit frustrated!
My savior was the incoming tide. As it rose, the fish that arrived first to show were the reds back in the creeks, (I think those buggers were there all along). I picked up a 29” and a 22” and then rats and puppies (small reds) before they went back to the outside. Soon after, the trout decided to make their appearance as well. So after months of saying fish the outgoing to the turn the bite turned on me to the low to mid incoming and I was still catching fish toward and past the high. I’ll keep you posted ‘cause this ain’t normal.
As the tide started to really rip, remember this was a negative 7 day, I rode it back in the creeks and the fun really began. As I approached one of my drum holes I noticed some surface activity but this is normal with mullet around so I got in position and dropped a line. I picked up a couple of black drum and mangroves. On the third drop, I left it toward the bottom and decided to investigate that aforementioned surface activity and flipped my trusty Spook Jr out and immediately got nailed by a snook. The fun began every cast! I was getting blown up out there and, in the end, I missed a dozen, hooked 14 and landed 11 all in the lower 20” to 24” range. Then, that line I’d been ignoring took off and I landed an inshore goliath grouper! What a day. Folks this just doesn’t happen in Hernando County, at least not that I’ve heard.
So with a horrible beginning came a memorable ending. Paddling back trying to remember if I caught two or three small reds, who knew it wouldn’t matter later. Anyhow, I guess I’ll call it a 4 slam day (trout, red, snook) as well as black drum sheepshead, and mangrove snapper— I think I’m going to like 2014 if this was any sign of things to come.